Date: Sat, 19 Nov 1994 08:41:13 -0600 From: Natalie Maynor Subject: Re: Recent Black English > Marilyn Silva reports that when she was teaching high school in NYC 25 years ago, > students THEN were reporting, "we don't talk like that -- that's the way country > folk talk!" Of course, there's always a mix in big cities between country and > city folk. And ... some people don't know objectively what they do. But ... > that's the report. Talk like what? Use of invariant "be"? I find that especially ironic (and perhaps strong evidence of what you said about people not knowing objectively what they do). Guy and I found a very clear rural-urban split in the use of invariant "be" by African American children (12-13 years old -- we tried to avoid some of the problems of age-grading by not using younger children): the urban children were way ahead of the rural children in their systematic use of invariant "be." Somewhere (I can't remember the reference now) we included in an article samples of conversations between two African American teenagers in Texas, one rural and the other urban. --Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]